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‘Cameron's Coup: How the Tories took Britain to the Brink’ with Polly Toynbee and David Walker
Wednesday 8th April, 7pm
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‘Anthropology, Ecology, and Anarchism’ with Brian Morris
Wednesday 15th April, 7pm
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‘The Vegan Book of Permaculture’ with Graham Burnett
Wednesday 22nd April, 7pm
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‘The Tolerance Trap – How God, Genes, and Good Intentions are Sabotaging Gay Equality’ with Suzanna Danuta Walters
Thursday 30th April, 7pm
Read more...

‘Why We Deserve Better Politics’ with Zoe Williams
Tuesday 5th May, 7pm
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Journal of Aesthetics & Protest issue launch: ‘Tectonic Disobedience’
Wednesday 6th May, 7pm
Read more...

‘UJAMAA – the hidden story ofTanzania’s socialist villages’ with Selma James
Wednesday 13th May, 7pm
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‘Liberty's Fire - bringing history alive for the next generation’ with Catherine Johnson and Lydia Syson
Wednesday 20th May, 7pm
Read more...

‘In the Name of the People: Angola’s Forgotten Massacre’ with Lara Pawson, John Game, Joana Ramiro, and Gika Tetembwa 
Wednesday 27th May, 7pm
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IN-STORE EVENTS at HOUSMANS

We regularly have a variety of events in the shop, and are always welcome for suggestions from authors, artists and campaigners who want to use the shop for evening events. Past events include talks, book signings, film screenings, art exhibitions and musical performances.

Click here for an archive; which includes a number of selected filmed highlights, of our previous events. Also, you can view video from some special events here.

Click the following button if you would like to directly add our events to your smartphone or desktop calendar using Google Calendar.

BOOK TALK
‘Anthropology, Ecology, and Anarchism’ with Brian Morris

Wednesday 15th April, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Celebrating the publication of ‘Anthropology, Ecology, and Anarchism: A Brian Morris Reader’ (PM Press, 2014) Housmans are delighted to welcome Brian Morris to discuss some of the key themes of his work.

Over the course of a long career, Brian Morris has created an impressive body of engaging and insightful writings—from social anthropology and ethnography to politics, history, and philosophy—that have made these subjects accessible to the layperson without sacrificing analytical rigor. But until now, the essays collected here, originally published in obscure journals and political magazines, have been largely unavailable to the broad readership to which they are so naturally suited.

The opposite of arcane, specialized writing, Morris’s work takes an interdisciplinary approach that moves seamlessly among topics, offering up coherent and practical connections between his various scholarly interests and his deeply held commitment to anarchist politics and thought.

Approached in this way, anthropology and ecology are largely untapped veins whose relevance for anarchism and other traditions of social thought have only recently begun to be explored and debated. But there is a long history of anarchist writers drawing upon works in those related fields.

Morris’s essays both explore past connections and suggest ways that broad currents of anarchist thought will have new and ever-emerging relevance for anthropology and many other ways of understanding social relationships. His writings avoid the constraints of dogma and reach across an impressive array of topics to give readers a lucid orientation within these traditions and point to new ways to confront common challenges.

“Brian Morris blazed a lot of trails. He is a scholar of genuine daring and great humanity, and his work deserves to be read and debated for a very long time to come.“

—David Graeber, author of Debt: The First 5,000 Years

“Before there was ’anarchist anthropology,’ there was Brian Morris. This collection introduces the work of an intrepid pioneer, taking anarchist perspectives to where you would least expect them.“

—Gabriel Kuhn, editor and translator of All Power to the Councils! A Documentary History of the German Revolution of 1918–1919, Liberating Society from the State and Other Writings by Erich Mühsam, and Revolution and Other Writings by Gustav Landauer

“Morris’s acerbic analysis of established literature is matched by nuanced ethnographic analysis. . . . He writes accessibly about complicated matters.“

—Allen F. Roberts, University of California, Los Angeles

About the author

Brian Morris is professor emeritus of anthropology at Goldsmiths College, London. He received a doctorate in social anthropology at the London School of Economics and Political Science, having done his PhD fieldwork among hunter-gatherers in Southern India. Prior to his academic career, he worked as a tea planter in Malawi where he has done extensive fieldwork.

He has written books and articles on topics including ecology, botany, philosophy, history, religion, anthropology, ethnobiology, and social anarchism. After discovering anarchist thought in the mid-1960s, he remained active in various protests and political movements.

His previous political books include The Anarchist Geographer: An Introduction to the Life of Peter Kropotkin; Kropotkin: The Politics of Community; Ecology and Anarchism: Essays and Reviews on Contemporary Thought; and Bakunin: The Philosophy of Freedom.


BOOK TALK
‘The Vegan Book of Permaculture’ with Graham Burnett
Wednesday 22nd April, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

In time for spring, Graham introduces his new book and will leading a discussion around the connections between veganism and permaculture, and the positive contributions these can make to an abundant and regenerative future.

How we eat is such a fundamental part of what we are; yet in our present time-poor culture of pre-packed fast foods, food can become an expensive symptom of alienation and disempowerment. It doesn’t have to be this way!

The Vegan Book of Permaculture gives us the tools and confidence to take responsibility for our lives and actions. Creating a good meal, either for ourselves or to share, taking time to prepare fresh, wholesome home or locally grown ingredients with care and respect can be a deeply liberating experience. It is also a way of taking back some control from the advertising agencies and multinational corporations.

In this groundbreaking and original book, Graham demonstrates how understanding universal patterns and principles, and applying these to our own gardens and lives, can make a very real difference to both our personal lives and the health of our planet. This also isn’t so very different from the compassionate concern for ‘Animals, People and Environment’ of the vegan way.

Interspersed with an abundance of delicious, healthy and wholesome exploitation-free recipes, Graham provides solutions-based approaches to nurturing personal effectiveness and health, eco-friendly living, home and garden design, veganic food growing, reafforestation strategies, forest gardening, reconnection with wild nature and community regeneration with plenty of practical ways to be well fed with not an animal dead! This is vegan living at its best.

About The Author

Graham Burnett has been a vegan since 1984 and has been active in the permaculture movement since 1995. He is the author of Permaculture: A Beginner’s Guide and The Vegan Book of Permaculture. He teaches runs permaculture and is the founder of Spiralseed www.spiralseed.co.uk , an ethical organisation based around the three principles of permaculture, Earthcare, Peoplecare and Fair Shares. They offer courses, workshops and publications.


Graham has worked with other projects and organisations including Comic Relief, Capital Growth, Bioregional, OrganicLea, Birmingham Decoy, Trust Links, Green Adventure, the Vegan Organic Network, Thrive, Ars Terra (Los Angeles), Ekosense Eco Village (Croatia) as well as a number of Transition Town initiatives.

As well as cultivating his own garden and allotments, Graham contributes to publications as diverse as Positive News, The Sunday Times, Permaculture Magazine, Permaculture Activist, New Leaves, The Raven, Growing Green, Funky Raw, The Vegan and The Idler.

BOOK TALK
‘The Tolerance Trap –
How God, Genes, and Good Intentions are Sabotaging Gay Equality?’
with Suzanna Danuta Walters

Thursday 30th April, 7pm

Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase


Housmans welcome Suzanna Danuta Walters on a rare visit from the USA to discuss her latest book ‘The Tolerance Trap’, a call to arms for the gay rights movement not to settle for complacency, and regain its radical agenda.


From Glee to gay marriage, from lesbian senators to out gay Marines, we have undoubtedly experienced a seismic shift in attitudes about gays in American politics and culture. Our reigning national story is that a new era of rainbow acceptance is at hand. But dig a bit deeper, and this seemingly brave new gay world is disappointing. For all of the undeniable changes, the plea for tolerance has sabotaged the full integration of gays into American life. Same-sex marriage is unrecognized and unpopular in the vast majority of states, hate crimes proliferate, and even in the much vaunted ‘gay friendly’ world of Hollywood and celebrity culture, precious few stars are openly gay.

 

In ‘The Tolerance Trap’, Suzanna Walters takes on received wisdom about gay identities and gay rights, arguing that we are not ‘almost there’, but on the contrary have settled for a watered-down goal of tolerance and acceptance rather than a robust claim to full civil rights. After all, we tolerate unpleasant realities: medicine with strong side effects, a long commute, an annoying relative. Drawing on a vast array of sources and sharing her own personal journey, Walters shows how the low bar of tolerance demeans rather than ennobles both gays and straights alike. Her fascinating examination covers the gains in political inclusion and the persistence of anti-gay laws, the easy-out sexual freedom of queer youth and the suicides and murders of those in decidedly intolerant environments.

She challenges both ‘born that way’ storylines that root civil rights in biology, and ‘god made me that way’ arguments that similarly situate sexuality as innate and impervious to decisions we make to shape it. A sharp and provocative cultural critique, this book deftly argues that a too-soon declaration of victory short-circuits full equality and deprives us all of the transformative possibilities of full integration. Tolerance is not the end goal, but a dead end. In ‘The Tolerance Trap’, Walters presents a complicated snapshot of a world-shifting moment in American history—one that is both a wake-up call and a call to arms for anyone seeking true equality.


About the author

Suzanna Danuta Walters has written and lectured extensively on sexuality, popular culture, and feminism and is currently the Director of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Professor of Sociology at Northeastern University.

She is the author of several books, including ‘All the Rage: The Story of Gay Visibility in America’ and ‘Material Girls: Making Sense of Feminist Cultural Theory’.

PRE-ELECTION BOOK TALK

  ‘Why We Deserve Better Politics’ with Zoe Williams
Tuesday 5th May, 7pm

Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase


Ahead of the general election the Guardian’s Zoe Williams discusses the failure of modern British politics and what it would take to move the broken system forward.

The five wealthiest people in Britain earn more than the poorest 20%. Young and low-paid workers are being progressively forced out of London. The education system is increasingly divided.

We welcome celebrated Guardian columnist Zoe to Housmans  to introduce her latest book, ‘Get It Together: Why We Deserve Better Politics’. Collating the disparate arguments that occupy our contemporary political landscape, Williams puts forth this spirited call-to-arms of a book as she considers the legacy our way of life is in danger of leaving. Asking key questions of the state of the NHS, labour markets, housing and immigration, Williams' witty and conversational manifesto seeks to play a key role in the build-up to this year's general election.

‘Get It Together: Why We Deserve Better Politics’ by Zoe Williams
Hardcover: 368 pages

Hutchinson (2 April 2015)

ISBN-13: 978-0091959012

RRP: £14.99

JOURNAL LAUNCH
Journal of Aesthetics & Protest issue launch:
‘Tectonic Disobedience’
Wednesday 6th May, 7pm

Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Housmans welcomes guests from the US-based journal to launch their latest issue, which considers the intersections of art and radical politics.

“Issue #9: Tectonic Disobedience is the fallout of several lives and rocks and the effort to weave a line of being and resistance over the longue durée (over and through time).


This event might include a slide show or a clock that does not move, and also several readers TBA - content of the reading to include a propositional cartography of radical practices (between state policies and intentional cultures) and a volley of books.


Though described as a "weirdo think tank" the Journal of Aesthetics & Protest has also described itself as a place at the intersection of anti-authoritarian activism, fine art and media theory. Now its just a radioactive rock sitting in space, which despite the gamma rays, it also provides fertile soil for carrots.”

 www.joaap.org

BOOK TALK 

 ‘UJAMAA – the hidden story of

Tanzania’s socialist villages’ with Selma James
Wednesday 13th May, 7pm

Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase


Selma James draws contemporary lessons from Tanzania’s self-governing villages created in the 1960s, where men, women and children collectively worked the land, organised production, distribution, housing, education, childcare, healthcare, determined to overcome poverty and women’s subordination.

Selma James speaking on ‘UJAMAA – the hidden story of Tanzania’s socialist villages’ by Ralph Ibbott, with an introduction by Selma James.

In ‘UJAMAA’ Ralph Ibbott tells the story of Tanzania’s Ruvuma Development Association (RDA) – 17 self-governing villages created in the 1960s following President Nyerere’s strategy of African socialism. Men, women and children collectively worked the land, organised production, distribution, housing, education, childcare, healthcare, determined to overcome poverty and women’s subordination.

People came from far to see this developing caring society that bypassed capitalism. But politicians, threatened by the autonomy and success of villagers, banned the RDA.

Ralph and Noreen Ibbott and their four young children lived in Litowa, RDA’s lead village, from 1963 to its destruction in 1969. They worked with the villagers but took no part in formal decision making. This is the account of the RDA’s rise and fall as they lived it.

Selma James is joint co-ordinator of the Global Women’s Strike based at the Crossroads Women’s Centre in Kentish Town. She is the author of Sex, Race and Class – the Perspective of Winning, A Selection of Writings 1952-2011.

BOOK TALK

 ‘Liberty's Fire - bringing history alive for the next generation’
with Catherine Johnson and Lydia Syson
Wednesday 20th May, 7pm

Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

 

We are delighted to welcome authors Catherine Johnson and Lydia Syson to discuss writing progressive historical fiction for young adults. Lydia will be launch her latest book ‘Liberty's Fire’, which is set at the time of the Paris Commune, and Catherine Johnson has just finished writing a book set during the French Revolution which will be published later in the year.


BOOK TALK

 ‘In the Name of the People: Angola’s Forgotten Massacre’ with Lara Pawson, John Game, Joana Ramiro, and Gika Tetembwa
Wednesday 27th May, 7pm

Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase


Our panel discuss Angola’s intra-left massacre of 27 May 1977, and its continuing political repercussions, a subject explored expertly in Pawson’s highly celebrated recent book.


Chair, Joana Ramiro: Morning Star reporter, who – as a Portuguese citizen with an Angolan father – has travelled widely in Angola.

John Game: a Socialist and independent scholar interested in class and identity in the global south with particular reference to western India. He is hoping to submit his thesis soon.

Gika Tetembwa: a global politics student at Birkbeck College and activist, who was born in, and grew up in Angola.

Lara Pawson: author of ‘In the Name of the People: Angola’s Forgotten Massacre’

‘In the Name of the People: Angola’s Forgotten Massacre’ tells a fascinating story about one of the most important political moments in Angola’s contemporary history, the 27 May 1977. For some, that was the day the ruling MPLA party turned on dissidents and launched a drawn-out massacre, with the help of the Cuban army, that would claim thousands of lives; for others, it was the day a band of far left, anti-mestiço and anti-white racists violently tried to conduct a coup against Agostinho Neto’s government. Lara Pawson lived and worked in Angola as the BBC correspondent from 1998-2000, when she learned about the uprising and its consequences.

This book follows her investigation to dig up the truth of what really happened on the 27 May, to try to understand why certain British Marxists helped cover up the killings, and how the events of 1977 continue to influence politics in Angola to this day.


‘In the Name of the People: Angola’s Forgotten Massacre’ has been shortlisted for the Political Book Awards Debut Political Book of the Year 2015, was runner-up in the Royal Africa Society book of the year 2014, was shortlisted for the Bread and Roses Award for Radical Publishing 2015 and has been shortlisted for the Orwell Prize 2015.


‘With unflagging intelligence, fearlessness, and compassion, Pawson unfolds the human and political dimensions of this forgotten atrocity. She has done Angola a great service in writing this book, and all of us, Angolan or otherwise, do ourselves a great service in reading it.’ Teju Cole, author of Open City


‘Pawson brings her sources to life like a novelist; her meetings are vivid and convincing. A simple, direct clarity of vision is brought to bear, and the reader begins to make some sense of the conspiracies and sub-conspiracies that led to the vinte-sete. By the end, Angola – along with some of its layered political complexity – is raw, vital, brutal and alive in front of us.’ M. John Harrison, author of Climbers

Housmans will have copies of the book available at a specially discounted price of £15 (usual price £20).


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